CSUB brings in first sellout crowd since 1993

CSUB+fans+cheer+on+the+Roadrunners+during+the+game+against+New+Mexico+State+on+Jan.+23+in+the+Icardo+Center.%0APhoto+by+AJ+Alvarado%2FThe+Runner

CSUB fans cheer on the Roadrunners during the game against New Mexico State on Jan. 23 in the Icardo Center. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Esteban Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

For almost 23 years, CSU Bakersfield had not experienced an atmosphere quite like the one in the Icardo Center this past Saturday.

The men’s basketball game against New Mexico State on Saturday had a sellout crowd for the first time since the 1993 season when CSUB hosted the NCAA Division II West Regionals.

CSUB psychology major Stacey Davis, 26, said that the atmosphere at the game was great.

CSUB crowd cheers on the Roadrunners during their game against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner
CSUB crowd cheers on the Roadrunners during their game against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

“I have never seen it this live,” said Davis. “Tonight was definitely something different. It was nice. I could definitely get used to this.”

Davis said that CSUB needs to continue to market this and talk about it and they could repeat a turnout like this.

“Yeah, I’m feeling Division I-ish,” he said.

CSUB fan Roland Banks, 48, said that it was an amazing atmosphere.

“I’ve been in Bakersfield for a long time and this is the most amazing atmosphere I’ve seen since our National Championship days in the ’90s,” said Banks. “I think as long as they keep winning, Bakersfield has proven that they want to support a winner. We got a great team and great coaching staff, and as long as the guys keep winning, we’ll keep coming.”

CSUB athletics director Kenneth Siegfried said it was unbelievable.

“I’ve been here for four years now and this is honestly what I have been waiting for. We just got to keep it consistent,” Siegfried said. “I was proud of the crowds and I am just extremely proud of our basketball team. They made it a good game, but this is great.”

Though the Roadrunners fell to the Aggies 68-67 in a dramatic finish, 3,880 CSUB fans, alumni and students packed the Icardo Center to support the men’s team and provided that Division I atmosphere that the school has been searching for.

CSUB senior forward Kevin Mays said that the crowd definitely brought energy to the building and gave everybody a good game.

“I don’t think people forget the game,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said about the crowd attendance. “It’s a special night all the way around.”

Siegfried added that it felt good to sellout the Icardo Center because it all came together.

“The staff worked extremely hard and every 30 minutes I am getting updates that we are running out of tickets,” he said. “At 3 p.m. is when we announced it as a hard sellout, we had people come up that were shocked. They said, ‘what do you mean you don’t have tickets?’ Because nobody is used to that but our staff worked extremely hard.”

CSUB’s Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Wallace, who also helps President Horace Mitchell oversee athletics, said that he thought the atmosphere was electric.

“To see this many people out and to help support our team in the manner that they did, it’s really what our guys deserve,” Wallace said. “This is the type of atmosphere that our students deserve and they are the ones who made this happen. When you look at what they have done and the athletic staff working with the students to create this type of atmosphere, I’m just so happy for the students and for them to be an environment like this. This is what you want on a college campus.”

The Roadrunners will have their next home game on Feb. 4 against the University of Missouri-Kansas City.